On November 16, 2015, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge issued a decision ordering Wingate Healthcare, Inc. to recognize and bargain with 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, after the union engaged in an unsuccessful organizing campaign at Wingate’s nursing home facility in Fishkill, New York. In sum, the Judge determined that Wingate engaged in unfair labor practices by, among other things, interrogating and threatening employees who supported the union, and conducting surveillance of employees’ union activities. Given the severe nature of the unfair labor practices, such as threats to employees, the Judge determined that a new election could not be freely and fairly conducted and issued the bargaining order. The full text of the decision can be found here.
On October 21, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision finding that Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille violated the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) when it fired two employees for airing their criticisms on Facebook. This is the latest in a string of recent decisions finding that an employee’s online “speech” is protected concerted activity under the Act in some circumstances.
On October 26, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill authorizing a three-year extension of the 2012 amendments to New York Labor Law Section 193, related to permissible deductions from employee wages. The 2012 amendments, which were set to expire on November 5, 2015, will now remain in effect until November 6, 2018 (the new expiration date). In light of the extension, employers should continue to comply with the Commissioner of Labor regulations issued in 2013, which define the wage deduction process employers must follow, particularly with respect to the recoupment of wage advances and overpayments.
On June 25, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued amended Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issue (Enforcement Guidance). The Enforcement Guidance is partly in response to the March 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., and supersedes the previous pregnancy discrimination guidance issued back in July of 2014.